Monday, August 6, 2007
On the road again....Leadville!
We all left Utah on Saturday for our 8 hour trip to Leadville Colorado. The trip was uneventful and went pretty fast as we all ooohhhhed and ahhhhhhed at the scenery. We arrived in Leadville at 6p.m. and were quickly immersed in "Leadville Boom Days". This is a celebration in which the town of Leadville pays tribute to it's mining boom with lots of activities in the streets. They have vendor booths with lots of stuff to buy and various activities take place on the main street like the burro race, the slow motorcycle race, dancing and other stuff. Lots of people are dressed up in 30's garb and participating in the festivities. On Saturday night we jumped right into Boom Days and headed to the brew pub for dinner. Everyone, including the bartender were in rare form dressed up and partying like crazy. Beast could not help himself and began taking pictures of the girls next to us at the bar who were doing shots of Yegarmiester and Red Bull, wow!!! They were having no less than a good time.
On Sunday the whole family headed into Leadville for the breakfast at one of Beast's Cafes and to watch the start of the burro race. The burro race is awesome and if I had a burro I would have to do this event. The runner and his/her burro travel 20 miles in the mountains with their burro in tow. The burro has to carry a certain amount of weight in the beginning and has to end with same amount of weight. The best part of the race is the stubborn burro, they sometimes just refuse to move! In addition, the runner does not ride their burro, they lead it. We watched the start and placed bets as to the finish time then headed out to see them on Mosquito Pass. We were a little late but could see the lead group followed by a couple of other stubborn burro's who's owners were desperately prodding them along. What fun! None of us have received a phone call that we guessed the finish time correctly but Beast is sure there is a message waiting for him at home. Lot's of other runners are here now. We saw Tom Pelsor from Oregon and he has been here for a little over a week and a half now.
The weather has been sort of cold and rainy, much different than Utah. The extended forecast looks better for race day but you never know????? Yesterday was our first run here in CO. and it was short, just a bit over an hour. Beast and I drove all around getting oriented with course. Since it's and out and back it's pretty easy to drive to all the aid stations and get acquainted with the course layout. After we did some scouting we went for a run between Halfmoon aid station and Twin Lakes. The section we did was on the Colorado Trail and passed the trail head to Mt Elbert which is the highest peak in CO. The trail was rocky and hard to navigate so I assume this part will be slow going on race day. The road sections leading up to this trail section with be faster but I plan on going easy on the rocky trail. There were lots of streams to cross but all of them you can pass without getting your feet wet. Beast and I will be climbing Mt. Elbert if we get a good weather day. I know Bill will be heading up there and maybe Mt. Massive too.
Today was my last long run with some quality workloads built in. We went from the Mayqueen aid station up and over Sugarloaf and back. We got as high as 11,200 today and I was to run in 3A and 3B with AT on the climbs. I was fine up to about 10,500 but after that I was halted by the lack of air. The outbound climb up Sugarloaf was not bad and I was able to run all of that. The decent down into the Fish Hatchery was slow for me because the road is so washed out. I saw a ton of bikers practicing for their ride this coming Saturday. I saw only one other runner out on this section. When I got to the bottom of Sugarloaf I just turned back around and headed back up. This climb will be much harder on race day since this will be about mile 80 and dark, I expect it to be a slow go. It's not too steep but just keeps going and going. After you reach the summit you get to go downhill on a pretty good road before you hit another rocky section of trail. I was happy with how well I could move at this point in the acclimation process and and hoping it gets better as the weeks progress. So far we are having a blast! We talked to some runners from Virginia this afternoon and they said there are 600 runners registered, it's going to be so much fun!